So, you have a loft space but absolutely no idea what to do with it. A spare bedroom, a guest suite, an office space, a kids room, it’s hard to decide how the space can best be used.
The great thing about converting your loft, however, is that they can be all of those things. Conversions should be considered an investment, as, over time, you can adapt the room to suit your lifestyle as it changes throughout the years.
With that in mind, you’ll need to think about the different features of your space, such as head height, placement of the staircase, what roof you have, and what kind of floor. All this will factor in what type of conversion you can create, along with your budget and planning permission.
In the UK, there are four main types of loft conversions, and we’re going to give you a look into the pros and cons of each one.
Dormer conversions are the most popular. As one of the least expensive, they’re suitable for any home with a sloping roof, creating a box-like shape, that needs minimum change to the house.
Advantages include extra headroom, height, and floor space while leaving the walls straight with flat ceilings. A major benefit of course is the price, as they’re one of the cheaper options, and also more likely to fall under the permitted development.
The only real downside is that aesthetically they are not the most appealing but if it’s practicality you’re after then this could be a perfect choice.
A hip to gable conversion allows you to extend your home. The sloping roof (the hip) is replaced with a vertical wall (the gable) to create more internal space. These are great for attached or terrace end houses with a free sloping side roof.
The greatest benefit is that because it blends into the main house, it is aesthetically attractive and provides extra space. The disadvantage is that it won’t work for mid-terraced houses and falls on the pricier side.
Popular for terraced houses, a mansard conversion is generally built towards the rear of the building, where the wall that you share with your neighbour is raised. The outer wall will slope inwards while the roof stays flat.
A good option if you need more headroom, mansard conversions also offer more light, and work well alongside other properties. However, this does come with a few setbacks, such as a lengthier timeframe, planning permission, and a larger budget.
The cheapest option of all is a roof light conversion. This requires no roof alterations other than adding in windows and constructing a proper floor that will make the space liveable.
It provides optimum storage space and is likely to be authorised in conservation areas. It is worth noting though that it adds no extra space, and you will need the middle of the room to be 2.25 metres in height. If the windows are at the front, it might need planning permission.
All conversions have pros and cons, so spend some time researching what would best accommodate you and your lifestyle to make the most of the extra space.